This two-part guide is a roadmap for how to market your B2B brand.
Whether your B2B company has just successfully disrupted an industry, leveled up to a category leader, or anything in between—this two-part guide will be your brand’s roadmap to follow based on who you are and where you’re headed. Feel free to hop around through these sections and create your own curated marketing checklist. Here’s a look at what’s head:
This part will give insights based on where your brand is headed:
There comes a time in a category leader’s life when they start to expand boundaries and think globally. It’s time to enter new markets before the competition gets there first.
Going Global Checklist
How we solved it — Confirmation
Confirmation, a financial software that digitizes auditing and validating processes, is the sole player in their space—competing only with pen and paper. As the company went global, we worked with the marketing team to quickly rebuild their brand and website. Fresh new logo? Check. A style and digital guide for all products? Check. Custom illustrations? Check. A redesigned website? Big check. The new assets were designed to create consistency and standardization while maintaining enough flexibility to achieve specific goals in each market. See it here.
With an IPO on the line, you have one last opportunity to prove your company is worth what you believe it’s worth. It’s the same reason people invest time and money into sprucing up their homes before selling—think: HGTV. How can you leverage a rebrand or campaign to get the highest possible valuation?
How we solved it — Slack
The work we did with Slack on their World Cup spot was in anticipation of an IPO. This path guided a lot of the creative direction, like transporting our audience, emphasizing the brand’s colorful aesthetic, and highlighting key features of Slack. The spot was designed not only to show off what Slack does and how it works but also to add value to the brand through awareness, brand strengthening, and credibility. Take a look.
It’s easy to acquire a company and immediately want that branch to start walking and talking the way you (the parent company) do. However, it’s important to remember that you brought on this new company for a reason—it provides a certain value you didn’t have before. The challenge is to move forward without leaving all that value in the dust.
How we solved it—Campaign Monitor & Emma
In the Challenger Brand section (in part one of this blog series), we discussed Campaign Monitor as a brand that needed to differentiate in a crowded market. The added bonus challenge was that Campaign Monitor acquired Emma and they needed to also differentiate from one another—carrying forward characteristics of each without leaving current Emma customers behind.
We served as outside, unbiased help for alignment. It was not about aligning on uniformity, but rather realizing that each company was going after a different market segment of the email marketing space, and furthermore, seeing the value in that differentiation. The direction for each brand stemmed from honoring the past with a strong vision for how to move forward together.
If there’s one thing hidden in the folds of this roadmap, it’s the realization that every company is unique and there is not a one-size-fits-all marketing solution. A lot of companies occupy more than one space and are headed in more than one direction. Personalize these checklists and iterate on your strategy as your company grows and changes.
There are some overarching lessons we’ve learned through our work in this industry that can help you start out in the right direction. First is the trend away from B2B lead-gen and toward B2B brand building. While the execution of this might look different depending on who you are or where you’re going, the idea is the same—people don’t need another lead-gen tactic, they need to buy in.
Which brings us to the next conclusion. People buy emotionally. Use that to your advantage when deciding on a creative direction. Transport your audience. Make them feel something. You can no longer get by presenting them with a list of features and waiting for them to convert.
Lastly, partner with an agency that can help guide you strategically—not just creatively. The lines are blurring between agency and consultancy, and it’s one less bump in the road when you’re able to be guided through a strategic process by the same people who will execute on that strategy. It can be a long road—you’re going to want good company.
Looking for marketing strategies to fit the type of brand you have now? Read part one of this series.